The problem is that the silicon dioxide used for more than 40 years as an insulator inside transistors has been shaved so thin that an increasing amount of current is seeping through, wasting electricity and generating unnecessary heat.
Intel and IBM said they have discovered a way to replace that material with various metals in parts called the gate, which turns the transistor on and off, and the gate dielectric, an insulating layer, which helps improve transistor performance and retain more energy.
Intel said new materials help provide a 20 percent boost in transistor performance. IBM did not release specifics of its project.
More on new chip materials: IBM's in it too
January 29, 2007 by